While driving behind a vehicle bearing the “Support Our Troops” message, I began to wonder why we support military workers and not others. I understand that this campaign is politically rooted with the Canadian presence in Afghanistan. I also understand that some Canadian soldiers have lost their lives there, and I am saddened about this. Still, the obvious visible symbolism of supporting a worker in one industry and not another is unsettling.
With this seed of a thought seeping through my mind, I saw a construction worker working on the roof of a four-story building and, hopefully, securely tied-off with a harness. Is that man deserving of our support? Well, he is performing a task to keep the building safe and sound thereby keeping the tenants safe within. Yet we don’t bear a ribbon to support him. “It’s his job. It’s what he gets paid for,” some would argue. Same with our troops, right? Yet if, as a result of his work, he slipped and fell and his harness broke, he would become a statistic and that’s all.